Branchville mayor picked from hat

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

If voters in Virginia cannot decide the appointment of a mayor, town council member or other elected official through the election process, state law leaves it up to blind chance.

On Tuesday morning at the Southampton County Registrar’s Office, two candidates from Branchville watched as the chairman of the election board pulled a name from a hat to determine which would be mayor of the small town.

Incumbent Preston Futrell and write-in challenger Jonathan Casper each received 17 votes in the Nov. 3rd election. One week later, Casper’s name was pulled from the hat by chairman Marie Sykes, appointing him mayor.

County Registrar Peggy Davis noted that while a number of write-in candidates have won elections in the past, pulling a name from a hat to determine the winner is unprecedented in Southampton County.